Friday, August 04, 2006

Henry Bonsu + African Identity

I have just been listening to Henry Bonsu on Colourful Radio. Of course, it is interesting listening to these things because one hears a whole range of different views, opinions and experiences.
One of Henry's guests is saying that we don't need to worry about our history or what happened 100 years ago. I completely disagree.
We need to have knowledge of our history and heritage as African people in order to be aware of our greatness and our potential. When we are clear about our identity, we know that that there are no limits to what we can achieve as people of African heritage. We live in a society in which we are constantly fed negative images of people of African heritage. Some of this conditioning is very subtle, but it is powerful all the same. It affects us and it affects our young people.
I have taught so many people in adult education who have told me that they 'can't' do such-and-such a thing because they have been fed these negative images all their lives, in the school system, through advertising, television programmes and so forth. This is why we need to celebrate our African role models and success stories.
We need to reinforce our own positive images. Our history tells us the truth about ourselves and the fact that we have contributed a huge amount to human civilisation in general, and to British society in particular, and we are continuing to do so.
Henry Bonsu is one of the interviewees in my new book, Black Success Stories.
Keywords: Henry Bonsu, Black Success Stories, African history, African heritage

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